Governor asks for public’s help, after House Majority rejects budget compromise
Governor Bill Walker is asking Alaskans to get involved, after the House Majority rejected his plan for compromise on a long-term budget agreement Monday.
With the state now less than a month away from a government shutdown, lawmakers have yet to pass a state operating budget. Walker says Alaska is now in a time of crisis and lawmakers must compromise.
“We’re in a time of crisis, you know, there’s no question about it when we’re facing, you know, twenty some days we shut down government, that’s a crisis,” Walker told reporters at a press conference Tuesday. “To the public, I say, please let your legislator know it’s okay to compromise. I know, I have heard from some that have said I’ve given up on some things that I have said I would stand for, that’s what compromise looks like.”
Senator Anna MacKinnon, Co-Chair of the Senate Finance committee, told KTVA the Senate is taking a measured approach to the governor’s proposal. The Senate has consistently opposed an income tax, but, MacKinnon says she doesn’t know how senators will vote on the education head tax — included in Walker’s plan. But, the bill still has to pass three committees before the Senate can take a vote.
“There are huge lifts inside of the governor’s compromise for the Senate, and I believe that the House believes that it’s a huge lift; and at least, we heard from two of their leadership yesterday, that it was an unacceptable proposal,” MacKinnon said. “So, again, the Senate is trying to be thoughtful in our approach. We want to evaluate and look at the actual numbers regarding each of the pieces of legislation that the governor has proposed.”
A spokesperson for the House Majority coalition told KTVA, House leadership has ‘no comment’ until after further discussions amount the caucus, governor and other lawmakers.
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